Monday, October 03, 2016

Immigrants Don't Hurt The Economy - Billionaires Do

(Photo of immigrants in the U.S. is from

Donald Trump has based much of his campaign with an anti-immigrant message. He's trying to convince American workers, who are struggling to make a living thanks to GOP economic policies, that their problems are due to immigrants (who harm the economy by taking jobs that Americans want). It's not true. Immigrants actually help the economy and help to create jobs for American citizens.

The following article from Moyers & Company by Richard Eskow tells the truth -- that's it's not immigrants hurting our economy, but billionaires. Here is much of what he had to say:

. . . anti-immigrant arguments aren’t always based solely on fear or dehumanization. Economically vulnerable populations are often told that immigrants “take our jobs” and drag down wages.

Is it true? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine appointed an interdisciplinary task force to look at that question. It found that, on the contrary, “immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the United States.”

Immigration, the report says, has “little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.” Native-born teenagers who have not finished high school may work fewer hours, at least in the short term. (They won’t lose jobs.)

As far as the downside goes, that’s pretty much it.

On the upside, “the prospects for long-run economic growth in the United States would be considerably dimmed without the contributions of high-skilled immigrants” who create jobs for highly-paid and lower-income workers alike. And the study found that recent immigrants tend to have more education than earlier immigrants.

“Immigrants,” the report concludes, “are integral to the nation’s economic growth.”

But if immigrants aren’t weakening wage growth and job prospects, who is? Perhaps no group bears more responsibility for the plight of the middle class than billionaires. An IMF study confirms that increasing inequality, especially at the very top of the wealth and income scale, is weakening economic growth.

“In contrast,” the report found, “an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher … growth.” And higher growth means more jobs.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, a world-leading expert on inequality, writes, “Our middle class is too weak to support the consumer spending that has historically driven our economic growth.” But instead of ensuring that lower-income and middle-class people share in economic growth, the opposite has been happening: Even after last week’s improved economic news, most of the economy’s gains are still going to the wealthiest Americans.

The 0.01 percent — the 16,000 wealthiest Americans — have as much wealth as 80 percent of the nation’s population, some 256,000,000 people. Their shared wealth comes to $9 trillion. And at the end of 2015, a mere 536 people in the United States had a collective net worth of $2.6 trillion. . . .

Know what also reduces inequality, helps create jobs and raises working people’s wages?Unions. It isn’t immigrants who are weakening the collective bargaining power of the American worker. Billionaires like the Koch Brothers are financing anti-union court casesand flooding our political system with cash to eliminate one of the 99 percent’s most effective tools for economic self-improvement.

Right-wing corporations and billionaires are conducting class warfare on the 99 percent and environmental warfare on the planet. That’s why we need to enact a new, broad agenda: higher taxes on the wealthy, an increased minimum wage, strengthened workers’ rights, sweeping environmental measures and greater government spending for critical needs like infrastructure health and education.

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